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Podcasting’s Bedtime Listeners Absorb Ad Messages, New Research Shows.

Even as listening data shows podcast listening during commutes has increased this year, new research shows that the medium is also making inroads into the end of day habits of many Americans. The data from Acast shows that nearly half (48%) of podcast listeners have used a podcast to help them fall asleep and more than three-quarters (77%) have used a podcast for relaxation. That chill-out listener mode is also putting to the test conventional wisdom that advertisers should avoid listeners using podcasts for sleep.

“Interestingly, all listeners who use podcasts to help fall asleep are far less likely to skip ads than when they are listening during the day,” says Acast Director of Research and Insights Tommy Walters. According to Acast research, nearly half (43%) of listeners are less likely to skip podcast ads while trying to fall asleep. And more than half (54%) of podcast listeners remembered an ad the next day and more than one-third (35%) made a purchase after hearing an ad while falling asleep. “These results prove that when consuming podcasts in a dark, relaxing setting listeners are extremely focused on what they are hearing and engaged with the messaging,” Walters says in a blog post.

If there is a downside for consumers, it is that the focus on the content means it takes the median listener an extra 10 minutes to fall asleep – nearly a third say it takes them a half hour or more to arrive in dreamland, as opposed to 14% of podcast listeners that don’t have a late-night episode habit.

One reason for why late-night podcast ads are so effective is that the data shows 83% of listeners who use podcasts to fall asleep said they trust podcast hosts. That is nine points higher than the trust level of hosts for listeners who don’t use podcasts to fall asleep.

“This is especially important to advertisers because it means that host-read sponsorships are more likely to resonate with these audiences,” Walters says.

While both listening types engage similarly with podcast ads when trying to fall asleep, Walters says advertisers should approach them differently.

“For advertisers investing specifically in Sleep and Relaxation and Fiction podcasts, it’s important to understand that these listeners tend to be males in the 25-44 age range and therefore the ad should be relevant for that audience. Conversely, advertisers eager to reach this audience demographic should consider advertising on these podcast genres,” he says. “For advertisers looking to connect with Dreamland Distractors, which is a much broader audience, it’s important to note that such a wide range of listeners uses podcasts in these genres to fall asleep. Therefore, the ads should be more conducive to a relaxed listening experience.”

The research is based on data collected in July by Acast Intelligence. It conducted four online quantitative studies via OnePulse with podcast listeners who listen multiple times per week. Sample sizes in the studies range from 449 to 502.

Download the full report HERE.

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